What is mechanical spinal decompression?

The mechanical spinal decompression therapy (Mechanical spinal traction) is used to stretch spinal joints in a controlled manner. This treatment aims at increasing the space between the joints of the spine and thereby relieving impingement of tissues such as nerve roots which causes lower back pain, radiating pain, numbness and sciatica.

In addition to low back pain this treatment can be done for neck pain especially neck pain with radiating symptoms. (cervical radiculopathy)


How is the lumbar spinal Decompression (traction) done?

  • The spinal Decompression (traction) will be administered while you comfortably lie down on your back or stomach on a motorized table.
  • A harness placed around your hips and will be attached to the traction device near the lower end of the table of the spinal Decompression (spinal traction).
  • The upper part of the table is fixed,  while the lower part, slides back and forth to provide spinal decompression of the impinged tissues.
  • The cervical spinal decompression is done through a smaller machine with lesser amount of pull. The cervical decompression is done using a for head harness and the counter weight is provided by your body weight.

How often should it be done?

This spinal Decompression (spinal traction)  therapy is done 2-3X week for 6-8 weeks each session could last from 20 – 30 min depending on your specific situation.

How do I know if it will be helpful for my condition?

The spinal Decompression (spinal traction) is not for everyone  but the recent studies have helped us to develop more accurate information in recognizing patients who will benefit from this procedure.

You may be helped with your symptoms if you have the following symptoms;

  • Lower back pain with radiating pain to your legs
  • Neck pain with pain radiating to the arm, elbow and or hands
  • Radiating pain (Pain spreading down with certain movement or peripheralization)
  • Feeling pain in the back and in the of the leg when the opposite side leg is raised
  • Your score on a Pain Avoidance Questionnaire supports the use of this modality
  • The full evaluation of your condition will help us determine if you will be helped with spinal Decompression (spinal traction) approach

What are the Different types of spinal Decompression (traction) therapy available at Omni Physical Therapy?

Your therapist may use a variety of lumbar traction approaches (or spinal decompression approaches) based on various factors. The commonly employed tractions in Omni PT services are;

  1. Intermittent cervical spinal Decompression
  2. Manual cervical spinal Decompression
  3. Mechanical cervical spinal Decompression
  4. Intermittent Lumbar spinal Decompression
  5. Static Lumbar spinal Decompression
  6. Auto traction spinal Decompression

How will I maintain the decompression?

In addition to the mechanical spinal decompression, the therapist will teach a home exercise program to help you maintain the distraction of the spinal joints.